REVIEW: FROM STRAIGHT A’S TO XXX

CAST

Haley Pullos (Instant Mom)
Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club)
Imali Perera (Cold Blooded)
Jovanna Burke (Trap)
Alyson Bath (Bounty Hunters)
Peter Graham-Gaudreau (Life Unexpected)
Garrett Black (Even Lambs Have Teeth)
Fraser Aitcheson (X-Men: Apocalypse)

When a change of circumstances leaves Miriam unable to pay her college tuition, she makes a surprising decision: to start performing in adult films, using the pseudonym Belle Knox. Miriam lies to her family and her friends at school, keeping her double life a secret. But soon rumours spread and Miriam becomes the subject of vicious online attacks and unwanted attention. Miriam fights back: she talks to the media, saying her new line of work empowers her as a feminist. But her confident stand has unintended consequences. Miriam is shunned by her conservative family and her colleagues in the adult film world. One impulsive decision has quickly spiralled out of control – and Miriam’s problems are just beginning.
Politics was a big theme from topics such as feminism and empowerment as well as issues affecting many young Americans today such as expensive college tuition fees are brought up.In addition to that,the audience is provided something that would allow them to give a thought to various themes such as politics,society,pornography,feminism,morality and the ideals of today’s young women.Also included are college experiences of cyberbullying,the rape culture and harassment that are common in today’s college and universities.Finally,it also would divide the audience in terms on how they view Miriam/Belle in terms of the choices and decisions she has made.

Advertisements

REVIEW: THE NEIGHBORS – SEASON 1 & 2

MAIN CAST

Jami Getz (Twister)
Lenny Venito (The Brave One)
Simon Templeman (Lois & Clark)
Toks Olagundoye (Castle)
Clara Mamet (Bad Neighbours 2)
Tim Jo (Glory Daze)
Ian Patrick (Looper)
Max Charles (The Strain)
Isabella Crovetti-Cramp (Joy)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Megan Park (Diary of The Dead)
Doug Jones (Batman Returns)
Leslie Grossman (Popular)
Amy Farrington (Faking It)
Matthew Glave (Argo)
Meagen Fay (Agent Carter)
Maribeth Monroe (The Back-Up Plan)
Stacy Keach (Two and a Half Men)
Debra Mooney (Everwood)
Billy Malone (Sleepers)
Leslie Jordan (Ugly Betty)
Carla Renata (Hart of Dixie)
Nora Dunn (Bones)
Richard Riehle (Texas Chainsaw 3D)
Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club)
Grant Harvey (Billy Boy)
Lora Plattner (Turkey)
Patrick Cassidy (Smallville)
Sandra Bernhard (2 Broke Girls)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
George Takei (Star Trek)
Jerry Springer (The Ringmaster)
Lucy Davis (Shaun of The Dead)
Meredith Baxter (Family Ties)
Reginald VelJohnson (Die Hard)
Jack Scalia (Red Eye)
Lori Loughlin (Full House)
Rhea Perlman (Cheers)
Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: DS9)
Candace Cameron Bure (Full House)
John Karma (Scream: The Series)
Scott Weinger (Shredder)

3rd Rock from the Sun is a tough act to follow. The Neighbors does a pretty good job, but uses wit and timing instead of zaniness and slapstick comedy to get its laughs. That makes it consistently funny, just not side-splittingly funny. Naming all of the aliens after sports heroes was an inspired choice– they’ll never run out of funny names (a tot named Dick Butkus?), and the fact that the aliens are dorky doubles down on the running gag. So are all their matching outfits/uniforms that remind us of golf clothes from the 1970s.

Also on the upside, some of the cast members are real gems. I don’t know where Toks Olagundoye has been up til now, but she’s got real movie star power as the glamorous alien mom. Her rapid fire back and forth with alien husband Simon Templeman, who has perfect comedic timing and never wastes a good line, are my favorite parts of the show. Jami Gertz and Max Charles are good enough as the earthling straight man/woman, but I think maybe too much of the plot compares their unfunny ordinariness to the aliens’ backwards/upside down view of what humanity is like. The child actors are pretty good, too, even if the show relies a little too much on alien child Ian Patrick’s precociousness. Clara Mamet is exceptional as the brooding, frighteningly calculating and cynical teenager.

I was worried that after a few episodes the running gags would wear thin and they’d run out of ideas. Not so at all! It was a series that went from strength to strength but put on in American in the Friday night death slot, so sadly only 2 seasons were made.

REVIEW: JAY AND SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK

 

CAST

Jason Mewes (Bottoms Up)
Kevin Smith (Daredevil)
Ben Affleck (Batman v Superman)
Jeff Anderson (Now You Know)
Brian O’Halloran (Vulgar)
Shannon Elizabeth (Scary Movie)
Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling)
Ali Larter (Heroes)
Jennifer Schwalbach Smith (Jersey Girl)
Will Ferrell (Elf)
Jason Lee (My Name Is earl)
Judd Nelson (Steel)
George Carlin (Dogma)
Carrie Fisher (Fanboys)
Seann William Scott (Welcome To The Jungle)
Jon Stewart (The Faculty)
Tracy Morgan (Cop Out)
Chris Rock (Madagascar)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Wes Craven (Sceam)
Shannen Doherty (Mallrats)
Mark Hamill (The Flash)
Marc Blucas (Bufy: The Vampire Slayer)
Harley Quinn Smith (Yoga Hossers)

Jay-and-Silent-Bob-Strike-Back-Main-ReviewAfter getting a restraining order from Randal Graves (Clerks) for selling drugs outside the Quick Stop, Jay and Silent Bob find out from Brodie Bruce (Mallrats) that Bluntman and Chronic, the comic book based on their likenesses, has been adapted into a film in production by Miramax Films. In response, the two see Holden McNeil (Chasing Amy), the co-writer of Bluntman and Chronic for the royalties of the film. However, Holden tells Jay and Silent Bob that he sold his part of the creative and publishing rights of the comic over to his former friend Banky Edwards. Upon learning of the film, as well as the negative reaction it has received so far on the Internet,[3] the two set out on a quest to Hollywood, to prevent the film from being made and tainting their image, or at the very least receive the money from the royalties owed to them.
On the way, they befriend an animal liberation group, consisting of four women: Justice, Sissy, Missy, and Chrissy; and one man, Brent, who they had picked up for the cause. It is revealed that the organization is a front; Brent is a patsy, intended as a diversion by freeing an animal from a testing laboratory while the girls rob a diamond depository nearby. Jay tricks Brent and throws him out of the van in order to get closer to Justice, with whom he is smitten. Justice, who becomes close to Jay and Silent Bob (particularly the former), reluctantly accepts the two as the new patsies.
While the girls are robbing the diamond depository they accidentally set off the alarm, prompting them to break the glass and steal the diamonds. While this is going on Jay and Silent Bob free the animals and take an orangutan named Suzanne with them. They escape outside to see the police arriving and the van exploding, which they believe has killed the girls.
Jay then takes the orangutan with him as a memorial to Justice. Quickly afterwards, Federal Wildlife Marshal Willenholly (whose name is taken from the three characters in the TV show Land of the Lost: Marshal, Will and Holly) shows up at the scene. Blinded to the diamond heist, he claims to have jurisdiction because of the large number of animals that escaped. He learns that all the animals have been recovered except for the orangutan. The officers then find and watch footage of a video Sissy recorded of Jay making remarks about “the clit”, claiming to be “the Clit commander.” The literature accompanying the tape says that “Clit” is an acronym for Coalition for the Liberation of Itinerant Tree-Dwellers. Willenholly blindly finds this as an act of terrorism and calls for police support to hunt down what he considered “the two most dangerous men on the planet.”
When the officers later have the trio cornered inside a diner and threaten to open fire, Jay and Silent Bob dress the orangutan as a child and walk out, claiming that they want to get their “son” out of the danger zone. Willenholly, thinking about the political repercussions of arresting a gay couple, decides to let them leave, but he quickly realizes his mistake and resumes the chase. When they jump into a sewer system, only Willenholly himself follows them while the other police officers, led by the Sheriff, leave him, and he is soon tricked into jumping off of a dam.

Having escaped the law, Jay and Silent Bob once again return to their quest to reach Hollywood, only to have Suzanne taken by a Hollywood animal acting agency car. Now on a quest to get their ape back and to clear their names, the two once again embark to Hollywood.

On their arrival in Hollywood, the two find themselves in the background of an E! News newscast (ironically about their threat against Miramax on the Internet) that Justice is watching. While Justice takes the diamonds and goes to Hollywood to set things right, Marshal Willenholly learns of their mission to reach Hollywood and leaves to find them.
jaysilentbob4png.pngAfter a long chase with studio security and reclaiming Suzanne from a fictional Scream 4 in production, Jay and Silent Bob end up in Jason Biggs and James Van Der Beek’s dressing room, where they quickly realize that these are the actors that will play the roles of Bluntman and Chronic. Suzanne beats both of them up effortlessly and Jay and Silent Bob assume the roles of their characters. Production staff throw them on stage with racist director Chaka Luther King, and they must engage in a duel with Mark Hamill playing a comic book supervillain called Cocknocker. Eventually Willenholly arrives to capture Jay and Silent Bob, but Justice arrives to save them. Justice admits that the CLIT organization was not real and that the two were used as a diversion while she, Missy, Sissy and Chrissy, were stealing jewels. As the rest of jewel thieves arrive, a climactic final battle ensues, after which Jay and Silent Bob get their royalties to the film from Banky, and Justice turns herself and her former team in to Willenholly in exchange for a shorter sentence and letting Jay and Silent Bob go.  The film ends with Jay and Silent Bob spending their royalty to locate everyone who expressed negative opinions on the internet about the movie and characters, ranging from kids to clergy, and traveling to their towns to beat them up. The scene then cuts to everyone leaving a movie theater, having just watched the Bluntman and Chronic movie and expressing negative reception: Hooper X calls the film a “one 90-minute-long gay joke.” Jay and Silent Bob, with Justice and Willenholly, then go across the street to enjoy a performance from Morris Day and The Time. After the credits, God closes the View Askewniverse book.I love Jay and Silent Bob,Kevin Smith is an amazing director/writer and since arriving on the scene with Clerks the adventures on the king of stoners Jay and Bob have got better and better. This film is just laugh out loud gags from start to finish with so many massive stars putting in cameos including Chris Rock who is brilliant in his small role in the film It also features Will Ferrell as a wildlife marshall with half a brain. A must have for Kevin Smith fans and comedy fans alike

REVIEW: FAMILY GUY – BLUE HARVEST

CAST (VOICES)

Seth MacFarlane (Flashforward)
Alex Borstein (Power Rangers Zeo)
Seth Green (IT)
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)
Mike Henry (Ted)
Jennifer Tilly (Curse of Chucky)
Patrick Warburton (Scream 3)
Adam West (60s Batman)
Chevy Chase (Chuck)
Beverly D’Angelo (The Simpsons)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club)

While the Griffins are watching television, the power goes out and they are left with no other form of entertainment. While they wait for the power to return, Peter decides to retell the story of Star Wars beginning with “Part IV.”
A Rebel ship is captured by a Star Destroyer. On the ship are the droids C-3PO (Quagmire), R2-D2 (Cleveland) and the rebel leader Princess Leia (Lois). While the ship is boarded by stormtroopers, Leia tries to send an MPEG to Obi-Wan Kenobi through R2, but encounters so many complications that R2 offers to deliver the message himself. Leia is captured by Darth Vader (Stewie) while R2 and 3PO flee to Tatooine in an escape pod, where they are captured by Jawas.
The droids are sold to a family of moisture farmers, whose nephew Luke Skywalker (Chris) wishes to join the Rebellion and fight the Empire. While cleaning the droids, Luke stumbles upon Leia’s message inside R2, who later decides to leave the farm. Luke and C-3PO pursue him but are attacked by Sand People. Luke is knocked out by one of them (Opie) and is found by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Herbert), who takes them to his hut. Leia’s message explains that R2 contains the plans to the Death Star, which must be sent to her father on her home planet of Alderaan and asks Obi-Wan to help. Obi-Wan tells Luke that he must learn the ways of The Force and accompany him to Alderaan, and gives him his own lightsaber. Realizing that the Empire must be looking for the droids, Luke returns home to discover that his home has been destroyed and his aunt and uncle killed.
Luke, Obi-Wan, and the droids travel to Mos Eisley to find a pilot to take them to Alderaan. At a local cantina they hire smuggler Han Solo (Peter) and his Wookiee co-pilot Chewbacca (Brian), who agree to take them with their ship, the Millennium Falcon. The group is soon spotted by stormtroopers and they flee into space, evading the pursuing Star Destroyers before jumping into hyperspace. Leia is imprisoned on the Death Star, where commanding officer Grand Moff Tarkin (Adam West) has Alderaan destroyed. The Millennium Falcon exits hyperspace and is captured by the Death Star’s tractor beam and brought into its hangar bay. Disguising themselves as stormtroopers, Han and Luke along with Chewbacca set off to rescue the captive Princess while Obi-Wan goes to shut off the tractor beam and R2 and C3PO stay behind. Han, Luke and Chewie rescue Leia, and the four dive into a garbage chute to escape stormtroopers and find a couch. As they flee the Death Star, Obi-Wan turns off the tractor beam before being confronted by Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel. Vader strikes Obi-Wan down as the others board the Falcon, taking the couch with them.
The Falcon journeys to the Rebel base at Yavin IV, where the Rebels analyze the Death Star plans and find a weakness. Luke joins the assault team while Han collects his reward for the rescue and prepares to leave. The Rebel fighters attack the Death Star but suffer heavy losses during the assault. During his run, Luke hears Obi-Wan’s voice telling him to use the Force, and he turns off his targeting computer. Vader appears with his own group of fighters, and is about to fire at Luke’s ship when Han arrives in the Falcon and attacks Vader and his men, sending Vader’s ship off into space. Guided by the Force, Luke fires into the port, destroying the Death Star, and he returns to the Rebel base with his friends to celebrate their victory. Back at the Griffins’ home, Peter wraps up the story as the power comes back on. Everyone thanks Peter for keeping them entertained, although Chris points out that Robot Chicken already told that story.
Anyone who is a fan of Star Wars and Family Guy are going to love this special! I think the episode is a real return to top form. Extras like interviews with Seth McFarlane & George Lucas, episode commentary and a sneak preview of a reported sequel special (something, something, something dark side based on empire strikes back) I think it is worth getting.

REVIEW: TWO AND A HALF MEN – SEASON 6-8

 

MAIN CAST

Charlie Sheen (Hot Shots)
Jon Cryer (Superman 4)
Angus T. Jones (Bringing Down The House)
Marin Hinkle (I Am Sam)
Holland Taylor (D.E.B.S.)
Conchata Ferrell (Krampus)
Jennifer Taylor (Rumor Has It..)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Martin Mull (Sabrina: TTW)
Rena Sofer (Heroes)
Ryan Stiles (Hot Shots)
Alicia Witt (Two Weeks Notice)
Helena Mattsson (Iron Man 2)
Kelly Stables (The Exes)
Emilio Estevez (Mission Impossible)
James Earl Jones (Star Wars)
Carol Kane (Gotham)
Jane Lynch (Glee)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Finder)
J.D. Walsh (Bones)
Melanie Lynskey (Up In The Air)
Meagen Fey (The Big Bang Theory)
Emmanuelle Vaugier (Human Target)
Joel Murray (Mad men)
Will Sasso (Movie 43)
Annie Potts (Ghostbusters)
Steve Hytner (Roswell)
Katy Mixon (Mike & Molly)
Verne Troyer (Austin Powers)
Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica)
Carl Reiner (The Cleveland Show)
Stacy Keach (The Simpsons)
Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place)
Graham Patrick Martin (Major Crimes)
Elizabeth Ho (Fifty Shades of Black)
Katherine Lanasa (Lie To me)
Ming Na (Agents of Shield)
Rachel Cannon (The Big Bang Theory)
Rebecca McFarland (Faking it)
Jodi Lyn O’ Keefe (The Vampire Diaries)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Brian George (The Big Bang Theory)
Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club)
Erinn Hayes (The Watch)
Liz Vassey (Tru Calling)

 

Season six is a busy season for Charlie, Alan, and Jake. There are several new developments, which include Charlie trying out a monogamous relationship again, Alan getting too involved with Judith and Herb, Jake and Evelyn bonding, and more. Along the way, there are plenty of laughs, as the cast continues to work very well together. The show also has excellent writing and plotlines that keep the content fresh.

The season begins with the episode “Taterhead Is Our Love Child”, which marks a new era for Charlie — he starts to think about people other than himself. In this episode, he runs into an old girlfriend. She has a kid named Chuck who is the spitting image of Charlie. Charlie contemplates the effectiveness of condoms, as well as having his own child. It is a fun way to start the season with lots of goofiness coming from the main characters. “A Jock Strap In Hell” is another episode that highlights Charlie’s growth and maturity as a human being. Back in season two, Charlie dated Jake’s 5th grade teacher Miss Pasternak. Unfortunately, after he dumped her, she went a little crazy. In a very awkward, yet comical moment, Charlie, Alan, and Jake run into her at the local drug store. Her life is a mess and she has gone from teacher to stripper. Charlie feels guilt and helps her regain part of her life back. Of course, the situation blows up on everyone. The end result is a riot!

Despite Charlie’s attempts to become a better person, he still hits a few kinks in the journey. One of them is Alan’s receptionist Melissa (Kelly Stables) in “The Flavin’ and the Mavin'”. He wins her over, but ends their relationship after a passionate weekend. Of course, it does not turn out well for Alan. Melissa comes back later in “Thank God for Scoliosis” as Alan’s love interest. They hit it off, but her weed smoking mother complicates things. Going back to Charlie, he makes a huge breakthrough in the romance department. “Pinocchio’s Mouth” introduces Chelsea (Jennifer Taylor), who has an on and off relationship with Charlie. They fight over trivial issues that only would bother Charlie. As the season progresses, Chelsea becomes more permanent and she slowly tames the wild beast.

Another big season development for the Harpers involves Judith and Herb. The married couple has a rocky patch in “It’s Always Nazi Week” and they patch things up in “Best H.O. Money Can Buy”. In the first episode, she kicks him out of the house when he takes some bad advice from Charlie. It is a fun development, as Herb tries to become like Charlie. Meanwhile, Judith fears being alone the rest of her life and puts the moves on Alan. Out of this situation, a sticky mess is made involving Judith, Alan, and Herb. It will be interesting to see what comes of it in season six.

As for the rest of the season, there are a lot of fun things happening for the cast. Some highlights include “Smelled The Ham, He Got Excited”, Evelyn makes a generous offer and the Harper boys pound their heads to find out why, “The Mooch At The Boo”, Alan is caught in his mom’s shoes (and dress) and Jake falls for the neighbor girl whose overprotective father Jerome (Michael Clarke Duncan) is a former NFL player, “The Devil’s Lube”, Charlie contemplates death after his friend dies and almost makes a dramatic life changing decision, “David Copperfield Slipped Me a Roofie”, Alan turns forty and no one really seems to care, “The Two Finger Rule”, Charlie, Alan, Herb, and Jerome hang out at the house–it is a real funfest, and “Above Exalted Cyclops”, Chelsea introduces Rose to the Harper boys. Overall, Two and a Half Men’s sixth season is an absolute riot. The series continues to dazzle and amaze with nonstop comedy.

When we last Charlie Harper (Charlie Sheen) he had managed to complete a season with a steady girlfriend, Chelsea (Jennifer Bini Taylor), and when we pick things back up, once again, wedding bells for Charlie are on the horizon.  Charlie wastes no time consciously and subconsciously sabotaging his relationship through the reappearance of his previous fiancé, Mia and his general proclivities towards adultery.

Charlie continues to exhibit deplorable behavior and his drinking problem reaches new lows, with the character at one point so hung-over he vomits into an occupied baby carriage. The writers in a turn of originality don’t go for the instant reconciliation of Charlie and Chelsea, nor do they close the door on the relationship. It allows for some character development for the character. Other highlights include some hilarious cameos from Annie Potts as the deranged mother of one of Alan’s girlfriends, and Stacy Keach as Chelsea’s newly out-of-the-closet, man’s man father. Eventually John Amos turns up as Keach’s boyfriend. Last but not least, the dependable supporting trio of Jake (Angus T. Jones), Alan’s now foul-mouthed teenage son, Evelyn (Holland Taylor), Alan and Charlie’s abusive, self-absorbed mother, and Berta (Conchata Ferrell), are always dependable. Season seven brings more laughs but Season 8 would bring an end to the Charlie Sheen era.

Season 8 was filmed at the time Charlie Sheen had his meltdown. What is interesting is that although the real-life Charlie now seems to be a lot like the onscreen Charlie, the onscreen Charlie is a lot happier, a lot more care-free, a comic rather than tragic figure. But enough of the psycho-analysis, what’s the show like, given that this is Charlie’s last season?

Alan and Charlie are of course the classic comedy duo – the uptight dweeb and the anarchic, cool, funny guy – and although it is played very broadly and superficially, they are presented as essentially good, likeable characters. Jake remains a bit-player throughout the season, never really given any room to shine, which is a shame, but well-judged and very funny cameos from Jane Lynch, Ryan Stiles and Judd Nelson help break up the at times repetitive and derivative interplay between the leads.

The season opener is a stand-alone, but after that a series of plots lines are introduced which play out over a number of episodes, which proves much more satisfying. Most enjoyable are the episodes that involve Alan’s developing relationship with Lyndsey, the mother of one of Jake’s class-mates. It is one of those situations that is not milked to death, but is allowed to become at times desperately painful and embarrassing, but also very funny and enjoyable. The season seems to end awfully abruptly with the collapse of Alan’s Ponzi scheme and the various loose ends of Charlie’s relationship with his stalker, this was due to the fireing of Charlie Sheen and paved the way for Season 9 with a new lead.